Tuesday, September 25, 2007

September 25 Flu update

The woman who was suspected of having died of bird flu is now reported to be H5N1 negative.

Russia says it will develop a vaccine against wild bird flu within two years.

Revere blogs the news about the 30-minute flu test that has been all over the news. Says it looks promising....

Australia recently audited its pandemic plans. No one's plan survives an audit.

Peoria TV station has a report on the work going on at Purdue on a vaccine.

Researchers at Purdue University are currently investigating a way to develop a bird flu vaccine that could be made quickly and fight against several strains of the virus (in case the virus mutates). They have combined several components of the bird flu virus with an adenovirus, a harmless type of common cold virus. The adenovirus carries the bird flu virus into the body. Once inside, the vaccine triggers an immune response, enabling the immune system to learn to identify the bird flu virus as an “enemy” and develop antibodies against it.


At 6:20 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


So, I’m curious about the 30 year old woman who died in Indonesia. Since both H5N1 tests turned up negative, what did she die from ? They never said. I know it wasn’t old age.

Now your Novosti Russian article is downright scary and one that might have the gravest implications: a vaccine for wild birds ? Sounds good in theory, but anyone ever give some thought to exactly how they are going to accomplish this ? Aerosol, most likely. I wonder what will be the implications if they have a mismatched vaccine (like China, Vietnam or Indonesia), or what happens if they spray a large geographical area, and the cows and sheep eat the grass ? No way can any one convince me they will have adequate controls in place to limit the vaccine exposure to just wild birds. I may have to call my uncle Ivan and get the inside skinny, if they are really serious about this.

Oh boy, Orange, so now you and Revere are getting into nanotechnology articles. Now this combination is guaranteed to tax our brains: H5N1 recognition and the use of human engineered nanosystems (actually nanoscale machines) operating on the molecular nanoscale level(one nanometer, nm, is one billionth or 10 -9 in size). In simplistic terms, what Revere is describing in his article, is actually a biological machine, using hybrid silicon technology to demonstrate that a molecular machine is possible to detect the H5N1 virus RNA in less than thirty minutes. It is indeed amazing and a very promising breakthrough, if they can verify it works in the field and get the false negative problems resolved. I would like to point out one small itty-bitty problem with nanotubes though: they are extremely toxic to humans. If these micro particles are set free accidentally, they are so minute that they can be absorbed through the skin or breathed into the lungs, and they eventually settle in the vital organs, including bone marrow and the central nervous system – resulting in, believe it or not, inflammatory cytokine production (storm) and death. What “goes around, comes around”, I guess.

When nanotubes are accidentally released, a laboratory really clears out fast. Having been partially exposed on the job several years ago, I haven’t yet noticed any “super powers” developing, or Spiderman capabilities, so I assume I didn’t accidentally ingest them.

However, if I start commenting in noticeably more peculiar ways than normal, you’ll know why – I’m turning bionic.



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